Uttar Pradesh: 51.49 pc polling recorded till 5 pm

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Lucknow, May 7: Around 51.49 per cent electorate cast their votes till 5 PM in the fifth phase of elections today in Uttar Pradesh, where 243 candidates, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and BJP's Varun Gandhi, are contesting on 15 seats.

In Amethi, where Rahul Gandhi is contesting, 50.66 per cent polling has been recorded so far whereas in neighboring Sultanpur from where Rahul's cousin Varun is contesting, 53 per cent voters have cast their votes.

The other prominent candidates contesting from Amethi include TV actress-turned-politician and BJP nominee Smriti Irani and Aam Aadmi Party's Kumar Vishwas.

In Pratapgarh 48.6 per cent, while in Faizabad 53.4 per cent, Gonda 49.2 per cent, Kaushambi 50 per cent, Phulpur 48.5 per cent votes were cast.

Allahabad recorded 51 per cent voter turnout whereas, Ambedkarnagar 56.6 per cent, Bahraich 53.2 per cent, Kaisarganj 53.4 per cent, Shravasti 51.2 per cent, Basti 54.02 per cent, Sant Kabir Nagar 51.20 and Bhadohi 49 per cent.

Highest turnout was reported from Basti with 54.02 per cent votes. More than 2.6 crore electorate, including 1.19 crore female, are expected to exercise their franchise in this phase.

While 34 candidates are in the fray from Amethi, 10 candidates are contesting from Bahraich constituency. Of the 25,085 polling centres, 3,715 has been identified as critical.

In 2009 Lok Sabha elections, poll percentage in these seats was 43.37 per cent. Complaints of EVM malfunction were received from nearly eight booths in Bhadohi and five booths in Bahraich which saw delay in voting process.

In Bhadohi, polling was temporarily stopped in Bhadohi, Gyanpur, Aura and Handia for nearly half-an-hour and began only when faulty machines were replaced.

A booth level officer was replaced in Bhadohi for allegedly distributing slips in favour of a particular candidate.

In Pratapgarh's Kandhai and Madhupur area, some people were not allowed to vote as their names were not in the list.

In Shravasti, most of the villagers of Piprigram did not cast their votes till 3 PM in the evening as they were protesting against poor development and a bridge in the area.

Cajoling by the district officers could not budge the villagers as by the time news was written only three out of 1,272 votes were cast at the booth.

Villagers said if bridge was not constructed, their village will turn into an island and remained disconnected with neighboring areas.

[Know your state this LS poll: Uttar Pradesh]

PTI

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